Born: September 27, 1907
Passed Away: March 23, 1931
Singh was among the prominent revolutionaries who shaped the base of a
grand national movement. Following his execution, on March 23, 1931, the
supporters and followers of Bhagat Singh regarded him as a "Shaheed",
Bhagat Singh was born on 27 September 1907 at Banga in Lyallpur
district (now Pakistan) to Kishan Singh and Vidya Vati. From his early
childhood, Bhagat Singh was imbued with the family's spirit of
patriotism. At the time of his birth, his father Kishan Singh was in
jail. His uncle, Sardar Ajit Singh, was a great freedom fighter and
established the Indian Patriots' Association. He was well-supported by
his friend Syed Haidar Raza, in organizing the peasants against the
Chenab Canal Colony Bill. Ajit Singh had 22 cases against him and was
forced to flee to Iran. Bhagat Singh was considered to be one of the
most influential revolutionaries of Indian Nationalist Movement. He
became involved with numerous revolutionary organizations.
Kishan Singh enrolled Bhagat Singh in Dayanand Anglo Vedic High School.
At a very young age, Bhagat Singh started following Non-Cooperation
Movement called by Mahatma Gandhi. Bhagat Singh had openly defied the
British and had followed Gandhi's wishes by burning the
government-sponsored books. Following the violent incidents of "Chauri
Chaura", Gandhi called for the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation
movement. Unhappy with the decision, Bhagat Singh, isolated himself from
Gandhi's nonviolent action and joined the Young Revolutionary Movement.
He was pursuing B.A. examination when his parents planned to have him
married. He vehemently rejected the suggestion and said that, if his
marriage was to take place in Slave-India, my bride shall be only death."
Singh later joined the Hindustan Republican Association, a radical
group, later known as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. He
returned to his home in Lahore after assurances from his parents that he
would not be compelled to get married. He established contact with the
members of the Kirti Kisan Party and started contributing regularly to
its magazine, the "Kirti". In March 1926, the Naujawan Bharat
Sabha was formed with Bhagat Singh, as its secretary.
On 30 October 1928, an all-parties procession, led by Lala Lajpat Rai,
marched towards the Lahore railway station to protest against the
arrival of the Simon Commission. Stopping the procession, police made a
lathi charge at the activists. The confrontation left Lala Lajpat Rai
with severe injuries and also led to his death. As an avenge to the
death of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh and his associates plotted the
assassination of Scott, the Superintendent of Police, believed to have
ordered the lathi charge. The revolutionaries, mistaking J.P. Saunders,
an Assistant Superintendent of Police, as Scott, killed him instead.
Bhagat Singh quickly left Lahore to escape his arrest. To avoid
recognition, he shaved his beard and cut his hair, a violation of the
sacred tenets of Sikhism.
In response to the formulation of Defence of India Act, the Hindustan
Socialist Republican Association planned to explode a bomb inside the
assembly premises, where the ordinance was going to be passed. On April
8 1929 Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw a bomb onto the corridors
of the assembly and shouted 'Inquilab Zindabad!' The bomb was not meant
to kill or injure anyone and therefore it was thrown away from the
crowded place. Following the blasts both Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar
Dutt courted arrest
Trial and Death
The British authority, while interrogating them, came to know about
their involvement in the murder of J. P. Saunders. Bhagat Singh,
Rajguru, and Sukhdev were charged with the murder. Singh admitted to the
murder and made statements against the British rule during the trial.
While in jail, Bhagat Singh found that the authorities were following a
dual policy in treating the prisoners. The criminals of foreign origin
were treated better than Indian political prisoners. As a protest, he
along with some fellow prisoners declared to "go on hunger strike".
The strike continued for over a month and finally the British had to
accept before their conditions.
Bhagat Singh along with other revolutionaries found responsible for the
Assembly bombing and murder of Saunders. On March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh
was hanged in Lahore with his fellow comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev. Singh
was cremated at Hussainiwala on banks of Sutlej river.